Before You Cook: How To Prepare Chicken For Culinary Perfection
Creating a delicious and juicy chicken meal starts long before you turn on the oven, stovetop, or grill. Here are our tips to give your chicken dishes a head start on being the most delicious chicken recipes ever!
1. Start with quality meat: Cooking from raw is the best way to ensure you’re getting the highest quality meat. Choose fresh, Canadian chicken to be sure your chicken is grain-fed and free of added hormones and steroids. Look for the “Raised by a Canadian Chicken Farmer” logo in-store, or ask your grocer.
2. Clean your cooking area: Remember to clean your work area by sanitizing counter tops, cutting boards and utensils with a mild bleach solution before and after food preparation and to always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food. Check out our easy guide to chicken and food safety at home for more tips.
3. Separate your ingredients: It’s important to reduce cross-contamination by keeping foods separate. Use one cutting board for produce and one for meat. If cooking more than one protein at a time, keep them separate and wash your cutting board thoroughly between preparing the two.
4. Get the right gadgets: A meat thermometer is essential to know when your chicken is done. Also, a good knife is important to reduce the chances of the knife slipping when cutting ingredients. Have resealable freezer bags on hand to portion chicken cuts for future use, especially if you buy chicken in bulk. Check out our storage and thawing guide and view more suggestions for utensils to make you a master chicken chef.
5. Marinate or brine your chicken: For really juicy chicken, marinate or brine the chicken before cooking. Marinades and brine solutions are really easy to make at home. See for yourself with our how to marinate a chicken and how to brine a chicken tutorials.
6. Know your chicken cooking times: Kids’ after-school practice going late? Is company coming in 30 minutes? Keep the recommended cooking times chart handy to be able to choose recipes that fit your schedule. By knowing the recommended cooking times before you start cooking you can make sure your chicken meal is served at it’s optimal time for deliciousness. Bookmark our Chicken Cooking Times Chart or download a copy to print and keep on the inside of a cupboard door as a handy reference.
Now that you’re ready to get cooking, check out our chicken recipes!